Social Epidemic / Anddy Sierra Alvarez

The surge was inevitable, an outbreak of the Aedes Aegipty mosquito in the crowded capitol neighborhood of El Cerro, where one could say there’s a quarantine for lack of control of this deadly epidemic.

One wonders how, in spite of having the birthrate of a first world country with a “quality” public health system with experts, Master’s, PhDs, there could be an aggravated situation with such dangerous ramifications as this disease — Dengue Fever — transmitted by the same mosquito that spreads Yellow Fever from infected human to healthy human.

The answer is multiple reasons:

  • It may be through ignorance of the citizen.
  • It may be because of poor vector control because of the poor organization of sanitation at the regional, municipal and provincial levels.
  • It may be the poor hygiene of public places like streets with pipe and sewer leaks or the waste of the population.
  • It may be projects that get started and then get forgotten and in the end the entities leave everything as they found it upon arrival.

In the end everything is related, and we can throw the blame on the citizen, undertake television campaigns telling people what they have to do to keep the mosquito larvae from breeding.

And where does that leave those who set the example and then demand that from others?

Well if they demand people do this and not some other thing, what’s the role of the government in keeping things clean, dealing with the leaks in the pipes and the sewers, the accumulation of public waste. And then sometimes sending the local delegate to get the community started on the so-called “piece-of-junk plan” (which is really the “do-it-yourself plan”), which sometimes takes months and in desolate places even years, in the meantime making it a great place for larvae hatcheries.

What happens is that the people see what’s going on, the filthiness of the streets, the abandonment of the city on the part of the government, which makes people give up on controlling the epidemic if, in the end, whatever they do is in vain because the most guilty, and the greatest hatchery creators are them, the leaders.

January 16 2012